So. It would appear that I now have two children that can tantrum. Yay.
I find tantrums a huge drain on my energy. I’m fairly calm (normally), about the kicking, screaming, crying, rolling around, snot and tears, however, it still knocks the wind out of me a little bit. I’m quite lucky. I’ve only ever experienced two public tantrums from The Beast.
One, I was heavily pregnant with the Fat One, and we were in a supermarket, ironically looking at dummies. He wanted to go in one of the annoying paid for moving cars that they stick in the entrance (for what it’s worth, if I ever find out who’s idea that was I will hunt them down and hit them with a spade), and I’d said no. I wasn’t in any rush to get dummies, didn’t even know I was going to use them, I could have turned around and gone home, however I was fat, tired and stubborn. More so then I am on a day to day basis now. Therefore I simply hoofed him under my arm, walked purposely towards the baby aisle and stood there with a kicking screaming toddler sideways flaying about. They didn’t have the type I wanted, so I arrogantly walked up and down the aisle for a few more minutes ignoring the stares and the tuts, before walking back to the car and using my head, fitting him back into the car seat. After all, I had a point to prove, I was the mummy, therefore in charge.
I’m very deluded.
The other was more serious. We were at the soft play attached to the nursery and when it was time to go home he melted down because one of his girlfriends did the same. It resulted in him seeing red, kicking me and generally being horrible. This resulted in me seeing red and snarling at him in the car park. I was mortified, like I say, I’m normally calm and find these sort of things mildly amusing, bar the public humiliation and judgement. He was scared, and I may have re-enforced the punishment by leaving him in the car, in the dark for a few minutes when we got home until I calmed down. I then lifted him out and plonked him down in the hall in a manner we’ll call “firmly”. He apologised and we’ve never had the same issue again, he often refers back to how angry mummy was.
I don’t tend to get angry, I prefer to get even. We use the hall as our naughty area. This is a result of the tantrums being full flow when I was either heavily pregnant or had a new born, and rather then keep carrying him back to the naughty spot until he stayed, I simply shut the door on him and held it closed. Perhaps not the most traditional method of discipline, but I find it works. He hates being in the hall, hates being left out, so he very rarely goes. These days all I need to do is threaten a count of three, I say it with slightly gritted teeth and I rarely get to three. If I do I know we’re in for a bad time.
The past few weeks I’ve been witnessing the beginnings of tantrums from the Fat One. Arched backs, shouting at me, tears when he doesn’t get his way. A couple of times I’d even been forced into plopping him down in the corner of the lounge to let him cry it out for a minute (as I did with his brother – I have the pictures of both to prove it).
However, nothing had prepared me for tonight. I’d been in a fairly good mood, however, over the past few days I was becoming increasingly aware that Fatso and I were going to come to blows over “the stairs”. He likes to climb them. I think as he’s frustrated about not walking (he could if he wasn’t such a wimp and let go of my hand), it’s the only big boy thing he’s really happy with (apart from eating his dinner of course).
Anyway, I’d let him climb up to the middle floor of the house, he’d headed to the next flight and the stair gate was still closed. I wouldn’t open it, we were staying here for an hour before heading up to the bath. He briefly got distracted, then headed back to the stairs, I said no, tried to walk him away, and he LOST IT.
The tantrum lasted approximately 43 minutes. This included the following actions from Fatty:
- rolling on the kicking and screaming
- standing up at the stair gate and shaking it aggressively
- Lying in the hall sobbing
- head butting my legs
- head butting the wall
- trying to crawl through my legs
- trying to crawl through the console table on the landing – the legs spaced too narrowly for even the smallest of baby heads to get through
- crawling under the bed and getting stuck
- heading to head butt my legs, missing and head butting the door
- pushing me away every time I went in to try and calm him down.
What ended his tantrum? Was it his dummy I offered him? Another cuddle? The distraction of a toy? Was it heck. It was the theme tune of Wayb-a-fricking-loo.
So here I am. Tired, drained, drinking my glass of wine, reflecting that my toddler who can’t toddle yet is heading into the terrible tantruming twos. I should be sad. After all, he’s my baby all grown up. But I’m OK about it so far, after all, I’ve videoed it ready to use when I need to bribe him. That’s OK isn’t it?